In Memorium: James Gleason

[caption id="attachment_3767" align="alignright" width="300"]The late James "Jim" Gleason at the ground-breaking ceremony for Ironstone Farm's arena. The late James “Jim” Gleason at the ground-breaking ceremony for Ironstone Farm’s arena.[/caption]From the early 1990s to his passing in 2015, Jim Gleason was an integral part of the development of the therapeutic programs at Ironstone Farm.
Jim was a member of the Therapeutic Riding Research Committee, and then became a member of both the Challenge Unlimited and Ironstone Therapy boards of directors. From 2012 to 2015 he served as chairman of the Ironstone Therapy board.
In 1997 Jim was instrumental in establishing Ironstone Therapy as a nonprofit subsidiary of Challenge Unlimited to provide medically-based physical and occupational therapy using the unique three-dimensional movement of the horse. His research, expertise and willingness to chart new territories enabled this program to change the lives of, literally, hundreds of children over 18 years. In 2000 Ironstone Therapy opened its doors to children 9 months to 3 years through Early Intervention, thus reaching children born with physical disability at a critical stage of development.
Jim believed in this therapy – and he worked for many years to enable it to reach the people who needed it most. Today Ironstone Therapy holds contracts with many Early Intervention organizations throughout Eastern Massachusetts.
Challenge Unlimited’s “Sponsor-a-Child” program raises funds each year to support those children whose families can’t afford the costs of therapy. The goal of the program is to never turn away a child who can benefit from the “magical movement of the horse” because of funding.
We are proud to have established a fund in Jim Gleason’s name to specifically support those children in and immediately following their Early Intervention years. The James Gleason Early Intervention Scholarship will enable Ironstone Therapy to accept more children through Early Intervention and continue to support them as they age out so that they don’t lose valuable therapy at the time they need it most.
Jim’s legacy at Ironstone Farm is one of countless hours, innovative thinking, belief in a cause, musical talent, rolled sleeves and hard work – and a wonderful sense of humor! He will always be remembered by those who knew him for all of these things.
The James Gleason Scholarship will continue his legacy beyond our memories. It will change the lives of children with disability for many years to come.

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